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The Pros Share Their Favorite Dishes: Hispanic Heritage Month 2022

Sep 15, 2022

National Hispanic Heritage Month Means to me a celebration of the Mexican heritage being recognized by several communities which have been recognized to contribute to our society as men and women, equally. Spanish is not my First language but I am grateful to my grandmother for speaking Spanish to me to help me understand that I was raised with Hispanic values. Which consist of Food Traditions, courtesy, family mannerisms and being respectful to others. Traditions aren’t only celebrated just this month, but at almost every meal time. Rice, beans and potatoes were a traditional food item on your breakfast and dinner plate.

Spanish Rice with a Special Seasoning

I learned how to make this very special recipe from my mother. It is a recipe that cannot be replicated or shared because it is special to my family.

To traditionally make Spanish rice you :

  • Heat oil in large frying pan on medium heat.
  • Add rice and cook until golden brown.
  • Add 1 chicken flavored bouillon cube to 4 cups water.
  • When rice is brown, add water, and your special condiments and seasonings to pan.
  • Stir and cover pan.
  • Let simmer for 30 minutes or until all is cooked and there is no liquid left.

Cinco De Mayo Celebration

Cinco De Mayo is a holiday that celebrates the date of the Mexican Army’s May 5, 1862 victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. This 5th day of May is also known as Battle of Puebla Day.

This battle took place in my hometown of Puebla, Mexico. For this reason, Cinco De Mayo is one of the biggest holidays that we celebrated as a family. During this time, many local businesses would close, the schools and towns would have many festivals, rides, food vendors and parades to celebrate this day.

When I was a child, we would celebrate every year by attending the local events. Typically, my father would represent his employer/company in the parade, so we enjoyed attending and was always very excited to see my father in the parade.

When I think back to my time as a child in Mexico, some of my favorite memories are of the Cinco De Mayo festivals and events. I always looked forward to sampling many of my favorite foods that included fresh fruit cocktail, hot cakes with fresh strawberry toppings and cotton candy. I have very fond memories of my family, food and of wonderful time spent together with extended family. I will carry these memories with me always.

One of my favorite recipes that my mother would always prepare in honor of this holiday was “her version” of Pipian Rojo and the kids always loved it! I have included her recipe below to share with you.

Pipian Rojo with chicken


  • salt and Black pepper
  • 6 each chicken thighs skin on, bone in
  • 4 tbsp Canola oil
  • 2 chile ancho stems and seeds removed
  • 2 chile guajillo stems and seeds removed
  • 2 chipotle stems and seeds removed
  • 1/3 onion roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 Roma tomato washed, cut into 4 wedges
  • 1/3 cup roasted pepitas
  • 2 Tbsp. toasted sesame seeds
  • 1 – ½ inch piece Mexican cinnamon stick
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 4 whole all spice(Optional)
  • 4 cups chicken broth


  1. In a deep skillet, add 3 tablespoons of oil and preheat at medium-high heat
  2. Season the chicken on both sides lightly with salt and pepper, set aside.
  3. Once oil is hot, sear the seasoned chicken, skin side down first, for 5 minutes per side. Remove from skillet onto plate. Set aside.
  4. In that same skillet, add the onions, garlic, tomatoes and dried chiles. Stir frequently, for 5 minutes, so chiles don’t burn. Add the cinnamon, cloves and all spice.
  5. To the skillet, add 2 cups of chicken broth. Bring up to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and continue cooking for 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes
  6. Transfer all of the ingredients in the skillet to a blender. Add the pepitas and sesame seeds. Cover tightly and blend on high until very smooth. I use a power blender, so there’s no need to strain the sauce. You may need to strain with a regular blender.
  7. In the same skillet , add 1 tablespoon of reserved oil and preheat to medium for a few minutes. Pour in the pipian sauce from the blender, along with the remaining 2 cups of broth.
  8. When it comes up to a boil, taste it for salt and adjust. Add the chicken pieces back in. Cover and continue cooking at a steady simmer for 35 minutes or until the sauce thickens and reduces.
  9. Serve with plenty of sauce, a side of rice. Garnish chicken with toasted sesame seeds.

Serve with:

Toasted Pumpkin or Sesame seeds
Your favorite rice